Scaler Hands-On Impressions

We try out an early build of TDK's upcoming chameleon platformer.

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TDK Mediactive recently held an event to showcase its upcoming lineup. One of the games shown at the event was a platformer named Scaler, which features a blue chameleon with the ability to transform into a variety of creatures that are roaming around the landscape. Interestingly, all you have to do is go up to a creature, briefly stun it using Scaler's tongue, and then you can transform into that creature.

Once transformed, Scaler has all of the abilities of that particular creature, but he can increase the potency of those skills by interacting with the creatures in his transformed state. For example, in one of the early levels we saw, a group of shelled creatures with elongated snouts were walking around the level. When Scaler turns into one of these creatures, a small radar appears, giving him the ability to find items that are hidden underground. If Scaler interacts with these creatures while he's in that form, he can increase the range of the radar. We saw Scaler turn into a number of other forms, including a huge bull-like beast capable of smashing through certain types of obstacles. He also turned into a creature that was capable of gliding through the air by spinning the blades on its back. Some of these transformations appear to be more useful than others, but they all seem to play an important role at key points in a level.

A large portion of the time is spent in Scaler's regular chameleon form, which has its own set of advantages. Scaler can camouflage himself to sneak past unsuspecting enemies, and he can also climb some of the objects in the environment. In addition, at certain points in a level, Scaler can grind vines that will take him to new areas. In fact, grinding vines is a crucial element during one of the boss battles that pits Scaler against a massive sea monster that spits fire if Scaler stays in the same place for too long.

Though it won't be released until Q3 2004, Scaler already seems to be quite far along. The controls were fairly responsive, and the metamorphosis aspects of the game have been integrated pretty well, but the development team is still building many of the levels and tweaking some of the gameplay mechanics. We'll have more on Scaler in the coming months.

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